Jeanette Martin Tolbert, 85, of Juliette, Georgia, died peacefully in her sleep on Monday, November 23, 2020. She will be laid to rest beside her husband at Juliette Methodist Church. While we ask only for your prayers, the family suggests that contributions may be made in her memory to Juliette United Methodist Church.
Born December 12, 1934, in Jones County, Georgia, and raised in Macon, Jeanette lived most of her life in Juliette. Known for her intelligence, her creativity, her willingness to work hard and to fight for what she believed to be right, she led by example in all her endeavors. She loved helping people.
After graduating at the top of her class in Jones County, she met and married the love of her life, John W. Tolbert. They moved to Chicago for the first two years of their marriage, where Jeanette worked for the Society for Crippled Children (Easterseals). While Jenny and Johnny loved their time in Chicago, when they found out they were expecting their first child, they moved back to Georgia. The next ten years were filled with the blessings of five children, volunteering at Martha Bowman Methodist Church and Alexander IV School, and enjoying frequent visits with her sisters and their families at her parents’ house.
Jeanette and John bought land in Juliette, and Jeanette, having learned drafting and construction from her father while still in high school, drew their house plans. She and John enjoyed building their house so much that they designed and built several more houses in the community.
Jeanette loved being a mother, sharing her passions for reading, music, crafts, woodworking, sewing, cooking, animals, and gardening with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She loved regaling them with stories of her childhood, and she delighted in discovering and encouraging their interests. Jeanette also enjoyed volunteering with the Scouts and teaching Sunday school.
In Forsyth, Jeanette worked at The Farmer’s Bank, served as the City Clerk for six years, then decided to go back to college while studying for her realtor’s license. She opened Tolbert Realty after working at Fickling & Walker Realtors for several years. She also owned The Brass Ring gift shop, delivered mail for the Juliette Post Office, and served, along with John, as an election official in Juliette.
Jeanette stayed involved in community organizations, including the Business and Professional Women’s Foundation and the Forsyth-Monroe County Chamber of Commerce, and served on the board of Macon State College. For the past 40 years, she and John devoted most of their service to Juliette United Methodist Church, where Jeanette served as Treasurer. She believed and trusted in God’s love and forgiveness and the blessed assurance of heaven.
Left to treasure Jeanette’s memory are her children: Sheila (Gregg) Shawen, Penny (Tommy) Wilson, Todd (Stacy) Tolbert, Jennifer (Gordon) Smith, and daughter-in-law Jane (Kersey) Tolbert; her grandchildren: Courtney (Jerry) Moon, Thomas (Angela) Wilson, Harrison Wilson (and his fiancé, Julie Amerson), Chelsea (John) Morris, Dayton Shawen, Oliver Shawen, Connor Tolbert, Neal Tolbert, Matthew Smith, Ryan Smith, Katelyn Smith, Jerica Morrison, Jennifer Singletary; her great-grandchildren: Kady-Mac Moon, Will Moon, John Daniel Morris, Gunner Morris, Savannah Wilson, Aaliyah Fountain, Levi Fountain, Makenzie Singletary, Kailee Singletary, and Rayden Abney; her sisters Shirley Tolbert, Joyce (Eric) Miner, Peggy Robertson; brother-in-law, Ronald (Doris) Tolbert, many beloved nieces and nephews. The family would also like to acknowledge the dear friends and neighbors who looked in on and helped care for Jeanette and John during these last few years of their extended illnesses, especially JoAnne and Tommy Moon and Delores and Frank Green.
In her lifetime, Jeanette mourned the passing of her husband, John, her son, Tim; her parents, Lester and Betty (Odom) Martin; her parents-in-law, David Cornelius Tolbert, Sr. and Lillie (Biggs) Tolbert; her grandson-in-law, Christopher Morrison; and brothers- and sisters-in-law: Dave Tolbert, John Robertson, Charles Evans, Pauline and Grady Gorum, Almon and Octavia Tolbert, Gene and Imogene Tolbert, and James and Bernice Tolbert.
Monroe County Memorial Chapel has charge of arrangements.